Friday, August 15, 2008

Olympic Musings

Well, it is that time of year when I am glued for hours on end to the television screen, late into the night, soaking up the wonder, the excitement, the...controversy that is the Olympics. Every couple of years this occurs and we watch people with ten times more physical ability than the average person while we sit idly by and criticize. A few of my peeves about this round of Olympic events:

1. I love Michael Phelps as much as anyone (maybe not as much as the girl on the AT&T commercial), but seriously do not break away from the medal events in gymnastics to go to a semi-final round for swimming that, duh, Michael Phelps will make it through. At least, don't worry about it being live and cut away when it really doesn't matter in the gymnastics events.

2. After reading headlines about how a wrestler "threw" or "tossed" his medal, and the IOC is looking into disciplinary actions, I wanted to sit this fit of temper the media was talking about. So, I watched the video, like several million others, only to be highly disappointed with his placing the medal on the floor and walking off in a civilized manner. Seriously, can we at least put some CG effects in there if we are going to grossly exaggerate the situation.

3. I am a gymnastics fan (as you may guess from No. 1) and although it is terrible that there is a significant reason to believe the Chinese have illegally put under-age girls in the competition, and the judging is arbitrary at best on occasion, it is what it is. Yes, our hearts break for these athletes when we see them being unfairly judged or not given a fair chance, however, these athletes have worked hard and gone through a great many trials to get the privilege to be so unfairly treated (i.e., to sit in front of an Olympic judge) and they are aware of the possibilities. Do we not remember the fiasco of the French judge in the figure skating a few winter Olympics ago, or was it the last one, who can really remember?

The Olympics is a great opportunity for us to brush up on our sportsmanship as armchair athletes and cheer our favorites on to victory, while recognizing that there is as much possibility of their losing, as there is for their winning due to a variety of factors. All athletes deserve our respect simply because they have achieved something most of us can never imagine...even a temper-tamper throwing Swede...they have worked hard and made it to the Olympics.

I wish Christians would work, train, and endure as much to run the race that is set before them, but of course, we want to be fairly treated - just like Jesus was.

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